The UK government is set to acquire six Eurocopter EC135 helicopters to support law enforcement operations.

Police air support units in Cheshire, the Chilterns, Cleveland, the Midlands, North Wales and Suffolk will each receive a new EC135P2i light twin-engined helicopter, which will also be used by neighbouring police forces as part of regional consortia, including a Midlands regional collaboration pilot project to test more efficient joint police air operations.

Eurocopter says that 27 police forces across the UK now deploy Eurocopter types - notably the EC135 and its larger EC145 stablemate. "This is part of a global trend for rotary platforms to increasingly complement police forces on the ground for surveillance, search, pursuit and other law enforcement missions, as well as some night-time rescue missions," says the airframer.

Chilterns Police EC135
 © Eurocopter

Each of the helicopters will feature the latest airborne law enforcement and police reconnaissance and surveillance systems. They will also include interoperable communications, including daylight and thermal imaging cameras, Nightsun search lights, video downlink systems and Tetra radios, which will allow easy communication with police on the ground and with other emergency services.

System integration and fit out will be performed at Eurocopter's customisation centre in Oxford.

Source: Flight International